Paper Monsters is the solo debut album by Depeche Mode lead singer Dave Gahan. It was released by Mute Records on June 2, 2003 in Europe. The album was produced by Ken Thomas, who is best known for his work with Icelandic band Sigur Rós. Upon its debut, critical reception was generally mixed; while many complimented the album's personal subject matter, others described it as lacking depth. Paper Monsters became a modest success in the UK where it debuted at number thirty-six on the albums chart, but it was a big success in the German, Swedish and Swiss charts, reaching there the Top 10. In North America, the album was released on June 3, 2003; however, it failed to make much of an impact on the mainstream charts, although the tour "Paper Monsters Tour" had some impact, especially on Depeche Mode fans. One concert of the tour, the one on 4-5.07 in Paris at the Olympia, was recorded and released on a DVD called "Live Monsters".
From this album, four songs were released on three singles: "Dirty Sticky Floors", "I Need You" and "Bottle living" / "Hold on" (the last was a double A-side, so two album songs were released on the same single: "Bottle living" and "Hold on"). The three reached the UK Top 40.
Gahan first played with the idea of releasing a solo album after the release of Depeche Mode's Exciter in 2001, but approached the project slowly. It was not until he began writing music with friend and musician Knox Chandler that he gained the self confidence he needed to begin to consider working on an album of his own material.
The album was released in two versions: a single disc version, and a double disc version which included the regular album and a bonus DVD. The DVD contains a short film, music videos, and live performances by Gahan filmed in New York City.
The second single "I Need You" was a ballad based around a synth and drum arrangement, which reached #27 in the UK and #5 on the U.S. Dance Chart. The second single also had two b-sides, "Closer" and "Breathe".
The third and final single was "Bottle Living" / "Hold On", a double A-side. meaning that two songs were released on the same single. The single also contained a remix of another album track, "Hidden Houses", as a B-side. The single continued the album's string of top-forty singles reaching #36 in the UK.
|Release format||Country||Cat. No.||Release date|
|Regular album||United Kingdom||STUMM 216||June 2, 2003|
|Regular album||North America||48471||June 3, 2003|
|Special edition CD/DVD album||United Kingdom||LCDSTUMM 216||June 2, 2003|
|Special edition CD/DVD album||North America||48492||June 3, 2003|
|German Albums chart||5|
|Swedish albums chart||5|
|Swiss albums chart||10|
|Italy albums chart||10|
|UK albums chart||36|
|Austrian albums chart||43|
|U.S. Billboard Top 200 albums chart||127|